The World Health Organization explains that blood is an important resource, both for planned treatment and urgent interventions. WHO statistics on blood donation shows that about 112.5 million blood donations are collected worldwide and more than half of these are collected in high-income countries, home to 19 per cent of the world’s population. Only 57 countries collect 100 per cent of their blood supply from voluntary, unpaid blood donors.
According to Mr. Opeyemi Eyitayo; there is an urgent need to orientate Nigerians on the importance of blood donation, especially as voluntarily givers, as it saves more lives. Having a blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system.
Nigeria falls under the category of insufficient blood as blood is usually not available when needed for most patients. This has made health institutions in the country depend on patients’ relatives as donors or paid blood donor services, where people are paid to donate blood for patients, he added
“Blood can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds and also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care”, he stated.
According to him, ensuring safe and sufficient blood supplies requires the development of a nationally coordinated blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations.
However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.
He therefore noted that there is a need for a lot of advocacy on voluntary blood donation on a regularly basis, because blood from a paid donor cannot necessarily be trusted as you are not sure of their ways of life.